Tag Archives: Bird Face

Review: Bird Face by Cynthia T. Toney

It’s no secret that middle school can be some of the toughest years of many kids’ lives. But the secrets that some middle schoolers hide can shock everyone around them – including the kids they see every day.

Bird FaceThat’s how life is for Wendy Robichaud, the almost-14-year-old girl who tells the story of Bird Face by Cynthia T. Toney. Unlike some of the kids around her, Wendy doesn’t care much about popularity or being part of the groups she calls the Sticks, Suaves or Brainiacs (I’ll bet you can figure out who’s who by those names — and we’ve all been to school with them). She has her BFF Jennifer by her side, so that’s all that matters.

Then eighth grade begins and things start to change. Jennifer’s acting different and Wendy’s convinced she’s keeping secrets. Brainiac bully John “Monster” seems to find even more joy in torturing Wendy than he has in the past. And someone has started leaving anonymous sticky notes for Wendy all over the school.

“Nice face,” the first note says, which sends Wendy into a cycle of paranoia about her looks and how she needs to improve herself. But some of the notes that come later are more encouraging: “Only words.” “Good luck.” “Speak up.” And Wendy needs all the luck and courage she can get since John’s latest nickname for her is Bird Face and he seems to taunt her wherever she goes.
It’s all enough to make a girl want to run away and hide because life is quickly turning into one big mess.

The way Wendy deals with things is true life for an eighth grade girl – sometimes clumsy, sometimes quirky, sometimes more grown up than you’d think she’s ready for. And along the way, Wendy learns some lessons we all need to remember – things aren’t always what they seem and aren’t always better just because someone behaves a certain way. Sometimes the people we think we know the most about are the ones with the most surprising secrets. And the ones we barely pay attention to might be our biggest sideline supporters.

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Cynthia T ToneyBird Face is perfect for middle school or early high school kids – they’ll be sure to find themselves somewhere in the crowd of kids surrounding Wendy. It touches on a few mature/more serious issues like anorexia and suicide, but does it in a tasteful way. Wendy’s just trying to figure out life, just like we all are. She’s a good one to spend some time with and maybe learn a few things from while she navigates her crazy world. And with school starting back in just a few weeks, now would be the perfect time to read it.

Learn more about Bird Face at her blog (http://birdfacewendy.wordpress.com/) or website (www.cynthiattoney.com). You can also connect on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/birdfacewendy?ref=hl) or Twitter (https://twitter.com/CynthiaTToney).

Coming Soon: Bird Face Review

Bird FaceMy critique partner Cynthia Toney is still celebrating the release of her first novel, Bird Face, and I’m helping extend the celebration. I’m reading it now and am thoroughly enjoying the story of Wendy — partly because it’s a great book and partly because it was snatched up by her publisher before she’d finished sending chapters to us for critique. I want to know what happens just as much as any other reader! 🙂

I’ll be reviewing it soon, but here are a couple of bits to tide you over until then:

The quick back cover blurb: Not-quite-fourteen-year-old Wendy doesn’t care one bit about being popular like her classmates Tookie and the Sticks. That is, until Brainiac bully John-Monster schemes against her, and someone leaves anonymous sticky-note messages all over school. Even her best friend is hiding something. While juggling divorced parents, caring for abandoned puppies, and trying to make the high school track team, who has time to play detective?

And a post about Bird Face from The Scriblerians, a group blog where Cynthia writes about MG and YA things.

Have a great day!

Leigh

 

14 for 2014

Every January, I think about how fun it would be to keep a list of all the books I read that year. That’s as far as it usually gets – an idea that gets lost in the shuffle of life – but maybe this will be the year I actually do it!

2014

To kick things off, I thought I’d share some books I’m looking forward to diving into this year. 14 books, to be exact – which you probably figured out since this post is titled “14 for 2014.” Some of these books will be new to me even though they’re not necessarily new titles. Others are on my waiting list because they won’t be released until later in 2014. And a few will be re-reads of books I enjoyed years ago.

Of course, I’ll read some nonfiction along the way, too, but this list is focusing on fiction. Partly because I read a lot more of it and partly because it’s easier for me to come up with 14 titles. So, here goes (in no particular order)!

 

New (or new to me) titles

Bird FaceThe Captive Maiden by Melanie Dickerson (a medieval retelling of the Cinderella story)

Bird Face by Cynthia Toney (a young adult book by one of my critique group partners; this will be her debut novel – I’m so excited for her!)

Bash and the Chicken Coop Caper by Burton Cole (the second in Burt’s middle grade series about zany cousins Bash and Beamer – and I’m proud to call him a critique group partner, too!)

Doon by Carey Corp and Laurie Langdon (a young adult fantasy that has two friends traveling to an alternate world in Scotland)

The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet by Stephanie Morrill (nerdy girl Ellie writes her first novel and learns that her real and imaginary worlds might intersect more than she thought)

DoonThe Selection by Kiera Cass (dystopian romance that I’ll probably enjoy so much that I’ll read the entire trilogy)

A Beauty So Rare by Tamara Alexander (the latest historical romance from one of my all-time favorite authors)

The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan (the latest in his Heroes of Olympus series with Percy Jackson and friends – my son and I will probably spar over who gets to read it first)

 

And a few classics

Pride and Prejudice (I’m almost embarrassed to say this, but I’ve seen a couple of movie versions but have never actually read the book)

The Scarlet Letter (I remember loving this book in high school once I slogged through the beginning – we’ll see if that still holds true)

Wrinkle in TimeA Wrinkle in Time (I read this one, but don’t remember much about it – time to change that!)

Fahrenheit 451 (another one I enjoyed reading in high school – plus my son will be reading it next semester so I thought it’d be fun to run through it again)

The Hobbit (yes, this is partly because of the movie series – it’s been so long since I read the book that I can’t remember which parts of the movies are accurate and which are just Hollywood)

To Kill a Mockingbird (I liked this in high school and my son really enjoyed reading it last year; since it’s on our bookshelf, why not enjoy it again?)

 

Your turn: What books are you planning to read in 2014? Any particular reason why? I’d love to know, because then I’ll probably add them to my own list! 

Happy New Year! 🙂

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